Annual backyard bird count more important than ever

By Australian Geographic 7 October 2020
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The annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count will take place between 19-25 October and there’s never been a better time to get involved.

EACH YEAR, BirdLife Australia asks us to get out into our backyards or local nature spots and record the birdlife we see. But this year, they say the annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count is more important than ever.

The data received will be compared to previous years to track the long-term impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires on birdlife, which is said to have wiped out at least 180 million birds.

“With climate change expected to increase the frequency and intensity of bushfires, we really need all Australians to get involved in the count this year so we can get a snapshot of our native birds, so we know what has survived, what birds we still have and ultimately use this research to protect them for future generations,” says BirdLife Australia National Public Affairs Manager Sean Dooley

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BirdLife is hoping that, given COVID-19 restrictions, more people will participate. “Every year we’re seeing more Australians take part, which is really exciting and shows how fun the count can be,” Sean says. “The Aussie Backyard Bird Count continues to attract people from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. This year we’re hoping to have more Australians than ever before join the count.

Related: ‘Keep at it’: Increase in birdwatching during lockdown assists with conservation efforts

“It’s a great way to take a break from the anxieties and stresses that we’ve all faced this year. Whether you’re new to bird watching or are a bird nerd, everyone can take part in the bird count. Our app does the hard work for you with images of common birds in your area and has information about all the species you see or hear during your count. It’s the perfect activity to unwind this spring.”

More than 88,000 Australians participated in last year’s bird count, recording close to 3.4 million birds. The rainbow lorikeet, noisy miner and Australian magpie remain Australia’s most counted birds.

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